Lift in the rain that cost pounds 42,900

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The Independent Online
A married businessman was driven "to the brink of suicide" by a female blackmailer after he offered her a lift in his Mercedes in the rain and became embroiled in a sexual affair, the Old Bailey was told yesterday. After their brief relationship ended, she drained his assets and resources, demanding sums of between pounds 500 and pounds 30,000 over 10 years in return for not telling his wife and colleagues of the affair, the prosecution alleged. When his wife overheard a telephone conversation in which demands for cash were made, he took a drug overdose and left suicide notes, it was claimed. The attempt failed and "Mr X finally had the courage" to go to the police, Sally Bennett Jenkins for the prosecution said. She said the accused had demanded a total of pounds 42,900.

But Beverley Jackson, 39, of north London, claimed that the businessman, now 71, was her "sugar daddy" and had willingly given her money over the years. She denies six charges of blackmail. The case continues.